H&R little 7-shot breaktop: junk or joy?


August 8, 2003, 08:15 PM
Greetings all. Recently saw a little H&R breaktop, extremely small frame, maybe 3" barrel, .22 LR seven-round cylinder.

They're asking $150, exterior is great, almost like new. There's a little bit of roughness at the cylinder-end of the barrel (is that called the "forcing cone"?). Also a few pieces (such as the breaking knob) have some "frosty" look to them. Am I being paranoid, or could the first issue be caused by timing problems (stray pieces of jacket scarring the frame?), and the second the dreaded "crystallizing"? And is it in good condition because it's meant to be tossed in a sock drawer for fifty years, along w/ original box of ammo? Maybe I'm really paranoid...

The larger question: are H&R breaktops any good? It seems on TFL that many put them in the junk category with Iver Johnson, but others swear that the H&R 999 is a great field revolver. I really like breaktops for some odd reason, and it's a very compact little thing. Think it might be a fun starter piece for girls/kids, like a cheaper and DA substitute for the Bearcat I've always wanted.

Certainly, I'd run Mr. March's test on a revo before ever buying it, but that aside, any tips appreciated. Thanks kindly.

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Standing Wolf
August 8, 2003, 09:17 PM
I've seen several of these over the years, and shot one some years ago. I believe I'd be concerned about the durability of the gun over time. My old pal Jim used to tell me, "You don't always get what you pay for, but you never get what you don't pay for."

August 8, 2003, 10:32 PM
I have three H&R nine shot, top-break revolvers. They are loads of fun because all the empties are ejected in one movement and then you can quickly reload with an HKS speedloader. The single action triggers can be very good. These so-called Sportsmen revolvers were well-made but I don't know how durable they are. I think they are basically copies of pre-1900 SW revolvers. If you can get a Sportsman in good condition at a good price, you might try one. I don't know about the seven shotters.


Wil Terry
August 9, 2003, 06:53 PM
inexpensive pistols, made of good stuff, and many were surpriseingly accurate and durable.
The 999 SPORTMAN 22 revolver was in its' day considered the equal of a S+W and COLT 22 handguns. My curent 999 has well over 10,000 rounds through it and is as tight as the day I bought it many years ago.
The H+R USRA was a premier 22 target pistol of its' day and it was all S+W or COLT could do to equal the USRA's accuracy at the range.
I too am a topbreak fan and can only lament the 7-shot 45 Colt topbreak revolver that was developed some years back by detonics but never marketed.

August 10, 2003, 06:54 AM
If anyone knows of a nice H&R 999 Sportsman with a 6" barrel for sale please let me know. I can find the 4" but the 6" seems to be eluding me.

Wil Terry
August 10, 2003, 06:35 PM
I've been looking for it's 4" brother, one of the last H+R's with the gascuts hopefully. I found one back in New York but the guy, who has never shot it, won't sell it, trade only. Hell, I never trade guns; keep 'em all, buy more!

August 10, 2003, 09:23 PM
Dang Wil,

I just saw one at a show today. (4" with cuts) I believe the asking price was $175.

I'll see the guy again Sept 13. Want me to see if he still has it?

Find me a 6" with cuts and we can trade.

Wil Terry
August 11, 2003, 12:24 AM
I'd be happy to trade a 999 6" [ but NOT mine ] for a 999 4" but I'll be double-D damned if I ever see 'em for sale back here in the Dakotas!! Actually the ones I have seen [ all 6" guns ] where whipped old relics from yesteryear.
Is the one you spotted one of the last issue guns from NEF/H+R? Is it new-in-the-box? That ain't a half bad price for a new one for sure

August 11, 2003, 05:12 AM
This one definately wasn't new but it looked to be in good shape. I didn't have the guy take it out of his display case because I wasn't interested in a 4". I'll take a closer look at the next show and check it out for you.
Like I said I'll see him Saturday the 13th and if you're interested after I get a better look I could go back on the 14th and make arrangments. I believe it is a real H&R and not a NEF.

Mike Irwin
August 11, 2003, 01:24 PM
Problem is, those breaktops were made for a LONG time.

It can be tough telling just what age the gun is from.

If it's older, you can kill it pretty quickly if you shoot high velocity stuff through it.

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